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28.12.2016 - Briefing by Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova, Moscow, December 27, 2016

Briefing by Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova, Moscow, December 27, 2016

27.12.2016 - Trilateral consultations on Afghanistan in Moscow

On December 27, the third round of trilateral consultations on regional problems, involving special representatives on Afghanistan and senior officials from Russia, China and Pakistan, ended in Moscow. The participants also met with Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov. The parties pointed to the worsening security situation in the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and were especially worried about intensifying activities by extremist groups in that country, including the Afghan branch of ISIS.

27.12.2016 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s replies to questions from Interfax news agency

Question: Is the liberation of Aleppo the biggest step towards a settlement and the turning point in the fight against terrorism in Syria? Will Russia support Damascus in its efforts to liberate the rest of Syria from terrorists? Sergey Lavrov: The liberation of Aleppo is certainly a major step in the liberation of Syria from terrorists. It is important not just from the military but also from the political viewpoint, because Aleppo, apart from being a large city, is considered the economic capital of Syria.

26.12.2016 - Foreign Ministry statement on the adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 2334 regarding Palestinian-Israeli settlement

On 23 December the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 2334 (2016) on the Situation in the Middle East, which highlights the problem of Israeli settlements in the Palestinian territory. The resolution was adopted by a vote of 14-0, with the United States abstaining. This is the first time in the past eight years that the UN Security Council adopted a resolution on this issue. The Russian Federation voted for it because the resolution is based on tested formulas reflecting the general view of the international community, which have been reaffirmed many times, on the illegality of Israeli settlement plans in the Palestinian territory.

26.12.2016 - Press release on Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s telephone conversation with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu

On December 26, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov spoke by phone with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu at the latter’s initiative. Mr Cavusoglu expressed to Mr Lavrov his condolences over the Russian plane crash near Sochi. The ministers continued their exchange of opinions on the developments in Syria, placing emphasis on stopping hostilities on its entire territory and intensifying the fight against terrorist groups in accordance with the principles of the Joint Statement by the Foreign Ministers of Russia, Turkey and Iran.

25.12.2016 - Ushakov medals for Arctic Convoys veterans presented

On 24 December, Counsellor of the Embassy Konstantin Shlykov presented the Ushakov medals to the Arctic Convoys veterans Mr Laurence Oseman and Mr Robin Alfred Charles Owen who were awarded this military honour by Decree of the President of the Russian Federation for their personal courage and bravery displayed in WWII.

25.12.2016 - President Putin instructed Prime Minister to set up a state commission over the Tu-154 crash in Sochi

President Putin instructed Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev to set up a state commission to investigate the causes of the Tu-154 plane crash in Sochi. The President expressed his deepest condolences to the families and friends of the crash victims.

23.12.2016 - Vladimir Putin’s annual news conference

Last year, Russia’s GDP, which is the key indicator, dropped 3.7 percent. This year GDP also declined, but we are not talking about a contraction of this magnitude any more. Initially we believed that the GDP would fall by about 1 percent, but this figure was later adjusted to 0.7 percent and then again to 0.6 percent. In November, national GDP inched up. Overall for the year we are expecting a decrease in GDP in the range of 0.5 percent – 0.6 percent. GDP increased thanks to growth in industries of the real economy, such as machine building, truck manufacturing, heavy machine building, manufacturing of road-building equipment, transport machine building, the chemical industry, light industry, processing and, of course, agriculture. Growth in agriculture was substantial – 2.4 percent last year. We expected 3.2 percent growth this year but the current figure is 4.1 percent and the yearend figure will be at least 4 percent. I think this is a very good trend and we must try to maintain it.

23.12.2016 - Comment by Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova following the latest expansion of US sanctions on Russia

We regret that the US government has decided once again to expand the anti-Russian sanctions in the context of the events in Ukraine. The obsession of the Administration of Barack Obama with putting pressure on Russia by any means causes bewilderment. Instead of focusing on coordinating efforts in the fight against the new challenges of our times, first and foremost terrorism and extremism, the White House keeps trying to painfully “punish” us.

23.12.2016 - Press release on the ASEAN foreign ministers’ statement on the murder of Russian Ambassador to Turkey Andrey Karlov

Press release on the ASEAN foreign ministers’ statement on the murder of Russian Ambassador to Turkey Andrey Karlov, 23 December 2016

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